Being Alive

Last month I was able to get back to Bouchercon for the first time in three years and it was just what my soul and creativity needed. I’d been working on the same novel for more than four years before finally abandoning it right before the conference.

Talking to folks and sitting in on panels and generally being in the stew of creativity was just what I needed to recalibrate my ideas and goals for that book and start a new draft. I’m writing the version of this book I always wanted to but never felt confident enough to. It’s the least commercial version of my least commercial novel idea, but for the first time in a long time, I’m happy writing. I’m ambitiously hoping to have a draft done by the end of the year

Bouchercon brought a couple of cool announcements as well. First, I have a short story published in the Bouchercon anthology, which is very cool. It came out of a terrifying situation where I hit a deer with my van. Everything is copy as Queen Nora Ephron liked to say.

Second, I’m the consulting US editor for Angry Robot’s brand new crime fiction imprint Datura Books that was launched at the con. You may remember almost a decade ago that I ran a crime fiction imprint from AR called Exhibit A. This time I’m happy to be one of many folks involved in making the imprint work and I can’t wait for you all to see what kind of cool stuff we’ll be doing.

Another thing feeding my renewed creativity was a visit to New York City a couple weekends ago. That city always fuels my creativity and it had been too long since I’d been there. While I was there I had a chance to see the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical A STRANGE LOOP and was absolutely wrecked by it. I recommend anyone who can go see this show.

After the show, I went to the bar above Sardi’s and had a drink, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. It was full of theater people and the petty gossip about the shows was just what I needed.

And speaking of theater…I’m a big fan of creative people having hobbies and working in other art forms to keep their work fresh, so for the first time more than 20 years, I’ll be on stage in a musical. The theater company that Natalie and Holly have been doing shows with also does some all ages shows through the year.

This time they’re doing Shrek: The Musical and I’ll be appearing as Lord Farquaad’s father as well as the jerk knight who throws all of the fairy tale creatures into the swamp. I really wanted to be Donkey and actually got a callback for the role, but I think I was a bit too old for that role in this show.

I hope you’re all being creatively nourished and finding ways to stay alive as we head toward the season of eternal darkness.